Real-Time Mobility Assistance for the Legally Blind

Raunak Khaitan, “Real-Time Mobility Assistance for the Legally Blind”
Mentor: Mohammad Rahman, Biomedical Engineering

With increasing autonomous technology around us, this research aims at bringing the vision to the legally blind. We are currently using a rover to develop and test the technology. It uses ultrasonic waves to detect objects at a certain distance and results in a five-bit sequence of 1/0 where 1 represents an object on path and 0 represents a clear path forward. This five-bit sequence divides the forward 180 degrees vision into five angles. This is done for both forward and backward motion of the rover. We are also using a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor that maps the surrounding and in conjunction with the rover inputs, it is capable of accurately detecting obstacles in the path. A webcam is used that recognizes objects using neural nets and its implementation is in progress. The webcam along with the machine learning model will be able of classifying objects as stationary and in motion and differentiate particularities like if the traffic sign for the pedestrian is on or off. All of these technologies will be integrated to provide a cohesive and holistic experience to the legally blind person to navigate on the streets independently in real-time. The information will be converted in the form of audio commands and fed to the user to follow them. The long-term perspective of the research is to eliminate every assistive measure being currently used by blind people while navigating and shrink down the technology to smart glasses that are both easy to wear and adapt and fashionable at the same time. Haptic and braille language feedbacks are also a part of long-term ways to impart the sensory information to the user seamlessly in real-time.

 

Comments

  1. Raunak,

    Great work. You did a great job of explaining why this research is important. At the same time, you explained in detail the complexities of the technology in a way that was easy to understand for someone like me who is not an expert. Nice job addressing the limitations of your project at this point and how you will address those limitations in the future as you build on the work done so far. And, great job providing details on future research and modifications and changes. This is important work. Your research has the ability to change people’s lives for the better. Well done. I wish you well in your future endeavors at UWM. Kathryn Amato

  2. I really enjoyed reading your overview and watching your presentation. You offered a strong introduction about why your research is important and how it will offer real life benefits. You also compared the competition and showed why your study will address their shortfalls. I especially liked your flow chart that showed where you are at in achieving the end goal. It helped me know how everything you are doing fits within the larger goal. This was very important. The graphics were excellent and the information you shared was very compelling. It looks like you’ve done a lot of excellent work so far. Keep it up. Excellent research!

    My only piece of feedback is small as I thought it was excellent. In your conclusion, I would have loved for you to describe what your next step is.

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